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Inheritance of spiral grain in the juvenile core of Pinus radiata

Publication: Canadian Journal of Forest Research
January 2007


Spiral grain is the angular arrangement of fibres in a tangential plane with reference to the pith or vertical tree axis. Spiral grain angles exceeding 5° can cause wood to twist, which may result in a considerable amount of waste and degrade. We assessed spiral grain at breast height in two related progeny tests of radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) aged 8 and 9 years established at two different sites in Australia. Radial trends for grain angle at the two sites were similar. Mean spiral grain (MSG) across the two trials was 4.3° with a standard deviation of 1.5° and a range of 0.8–10°. Estimates of individual tree heritabilities on a single-site basis for individual rings and MSG suggested that spiral grain is lowly to highly inherited (h2 = 0.11 ± 0.08 to 0.66 ± 0.21 for individual rings and 0.44 ± 0.12 for MSG). Additive genotypic correlations between individual rings grain angle and MSG were generally high, above 0.71, suggesting a favourable expected correlated response of mean grain angle in the juvenile wood to selection for grain angle of individual rings. Selection to reduce spiral grain on any of rings 2–4 (at a selection intensity of 1.755, i.e., selecting the best 10% of trees) would result in a predicted correlated genetic gain in MSG of 1.0°. Our results suggest that selection could be performed in any of the individual rings 2, 3, or 4 (equivalent to ages 4–6) and still achieve at least 75% of the genetic gain possible from selection on the mean of all rings 1–5 (MSG). This suggests that there is an optimum stage (rings 2–4) in which selection for this trait should take place. Our results suggest that a reduction in spiral grain angle in the juvenile core is one strategy to reduce the amount of lower grade timber owing to twist.


Le fil tors est défini comme l'arrangement angulaire des fibres dans un plan tangentiel par rapport à la moelle ou à l'axe vertical de l'arbre. Le bois peut tordre si l'angle du fil tors excède 5°, ce qui peut entraîner des pertes considérables et une baisse de qualité importante. Les auteurs ont évalué le fil tors à hauteur de poitrine dans deux tests reliés de descendances de pin de Monterey (Pinus radiata D. Don) âgés de 8 et 9 ans et établis dans des stations différentes en Australie. Les tendances radiales pour l'angle du fil étaient similaires. Globalement pour les deux stations, l'angle moyen du fil tors (AMFT) était de 4,3° avec un écart-type de 1,5° et une étendue de 0,8° à 10°. Les estimations d'héritabilité d'arbres individuels, obtenues en considérant un site à la fois pour les cernes de croissance individuels et l'AMFT, indiquent que le fil tors possède une héritabilité de faible à élevée (h2 = 0,11 ± 0,08 à 0,66 ± 0,21 pour les cernes individuels et 0,44 ± 0,12 pour l'AMFT). Les corrélations génotypiques additives entre l'angle du fil des cernes individuels et l'AMFT étaient généralement élevées, au-dessus de 0,71, suggérant qu'on peut espérer une réponse corrélée favorable de l'AMFT dans le bois juvénile à la sélection pour l'angle du fil des cernes individuels. La sélection pour réduire le fil tors pour n'importe quel des cernes 2 à 4 (avec une intensité de sélection de 1,755 correspondant à la sélection des arbres représentant le 10 % supérieur) entraînerait un gain génétique corrélé prédit dans l'AMFT de 1,0°. Ces résultats indiquent que la sélection pourrait être effectuée à partir de n'importe quel des cernes 2, 3 ou 4 (équivalent aux âges 4 à 6 ans), tout en réalisant malgré tout au moins 75 % du gain génétique possible provenant de la sélection sur la moyenne de l'ensemble des cernes 1 à 5 (AMFT). Cette constatation indique qu'il y a un stade optimum (cernes 2 à 4) auquel la sélection pour ce caractère devrait être réalisée. Les résultats obtenus indiquent également qu'une réduction de l'angle du fil tors dans le bois juvénile constitue une stratégie pour réduire la baisse de qualité associée à la torsion du bois.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

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cover image Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume 37Number 1January 2007
Pages: 116 - 127


Version of record online: 9 December 2011


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7. Corewood (Juvenile Wood) and Its Impact on Wood Utilisation
8. Modelling spiral grain angle variation in New Zealand-grown radiata pine
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13. Prediction of wood stiffness, strength, and shrinkage in juvenile wood of radiata pine
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15. Genetics of Shrinkage in Juvenile Trees of Pinus radiata D. Don From Two Test Sites in Australia
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17. Genetic correlations between wood quality traits of Pinus pinaster Ait
18. Achievements in forest tree improvement in Australia and New Zealand 8. Successful introduction and breeding of radiata pine in Australia

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